Although a close connection between uterine regeneration and successful pregnancy in both humans and mice has been consistently observed, its molecular basis remains unclear. We here established a mouse model of decellularized uterine matrix (DUM) transplantation. Resected mouse uteri were processed with SDS to make DUMs without any intact cells. DUMs were transplanted into the mouse uteri with artificially induced defects, and all the uterine layers were recovered at the DUM transplantation sites within a month. In the regenerated uteri, normal hormone responsiveness in early pregnancy was observed, suggesting the regeneration of functional uteri. Uterine epithelial cells rapidly migrated and formed a normal uterine epithelial layer within a week, indicating a robust epithelial-regenerating capacity. Stromal and myometrial regeneration occurred following epithelial regeneration. In ovariectomized mice, uterine regeneration of the DUM transplantation was similarly observed, suggesting that ovarian hormones are not essential for this regeneration process. Importantly, the regenerating epithelium around the DUM demonstrated heightened STAT3 phosphorylation and cell proliferation, which was suppressed in uteri of Stat3 conditional knockout mice. These data suggest a key role of STAT3 in the initial step of the uterine regeneration process. The DUM transplantation model is a powerful tool for uterine regeneration research.
Takehiro Hiraoka, Yasushi Hirota, Tomoko Saito-Fujita, Mitsunori Matsuo, Mahiro Egashira, Leona Matsumoto, Hirofumi Haraguchi, Sudhansu K. Dey, Katsuko S. Furukawa, Tomoyuki Fujii, Yutaka Osuga
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